an information bulletin for recreational fishers
New Shoalhaven offshore artificial reef deployed!
The construction of the new Shoalhaven offshore artificial reef was completed in mid-January 2015, with 20 specially designed, huge, concrete artificial reef modules successfully lowered from a barge 30 metres to the sea floor, 4km east of Shoalhaven Heads. Each module stands 5 m high and weighs in excess of 20 tonnes.
The new Shoalhaven offshore artificial reef is designed to create the largest fishable area possible. There are five individual reef groups, each with 4 modules per group. By placing the groups approximately 50 metres from each other, fish will use the whole system as one large reef, meaning the areas between the modules and groups (and also just outside of the reef boundaries) will also produce good fishing! Although only very early days, cameras deployed by DPI in early February have captured images of yellowtail kingfish and amberjack already moving around the reef. Fishers have also reported yellowtail scad and slimy mackerel on the reef.
Check out the coordinates for the reef. The reef was constructed using funds from the Recreational Fishing Trust. Check out the video below of the reef being deployed.
Illegal bait sale nipped in the bud
A man who thought there was big business in illegal bait supply has been forced to find another career path and ordered to pay thousands of dollars in fines and court costs. The man was observed taking saltwater nippers from a sandbank at Maianbar and was apprehended by fisheries officers when he returned to his car.
He was found to be in possession of 498 nippers, and at the time admitted they were being taken with the intention for sale. There is a possession limit of 100 saltwater nippers per person and it is unlawful for anyone other than a commercial fisher to take fish for the purpose of sale.
The man appeared in court for two offences including: possess more than the possession limit and take fish for sale when unlicensed. He was found guilty of both offences and given fines of $2,500 for each offence, plus awarded $2,500 in professional costs – a total of $7,500.
Information concerning illegal fishing can be reported to the Fishers Watch Phoneline on 1800 043 536 or online
South coast striped marlin recapture
A striped marlin tagged and released by George Lirantzis on Ulladulla S&GFC vessel Side Effect on 23 March 2014 was recently reported as recaptured by Darren Buttigieg of Greenvale S&GFC.
Darren hooked the tagged marlin on 28 January 2015 whilst fishing off Eden on-board Back N Up. The marlin was at liberty for 314 days before it was recaptured and re-released off the NSW south coast. From the recapture location, it shows that the fish had travelled a straight-line distance of approximately 107 nautical miles in a south westerly direction.
It is most likely, however, that this marlin had headed north with the receding East Australian Current (EAC) during the late autumn/winter months of 2014 (and may have headed all the way towards the known striped marlin spawning grounds situated over the Norfolk Ridge – the undersea mountain ridge between New Zealand and New Caledonia) before moving back south with the warm currents to feed on the plentiful baitfish along the NSW continental shelf.
Find out more information on the NSW DPI Game Fish Tagging Program.
A bumper season on the DPI fish aggregation devices (FADs)
The current FADs season has seen some fantastic fishing, with the very warm water and strong EAC extending right along the NSW coast making conditions ideal for mahi-mahi (dolphinfish). Captures of an exceptional number of large mahi mahi have been reported. The coming autumn presents a fantastic opportunity for fishers to try their hand at capturing one of these magnificent sport fish before they return to more northern waters over the winter.
Stay up to date with your local FAD throughout the season by signing up to the FADs email update service. Please give us your feedback and fishing reports including photos if you have them, as Wade Koolis did (pictured above), as these reports help enormously with the ongoing development of the FAD program.
Please remember not to tie off to the FADs. This puts excessive strain on the mooring line and can result in the FAD breaking free or being dragged along the seabed. If you see a boat tied to a FAD, please report it including the registration of the vessel and a photo if possible.
Check out the FAD locations, including GPS coordinates. Please remember to check the latest marine weather forecasts before venturing offshore. The below photo shows schooling mahi mahi and the Jervis Bay FAD.
Get the kids offline and get them online at a fishing workshop this Easter
Check out our DPI Kids Fishing Workshops calendar for the upcoming Easter school holidays in 2015.
Kids fishing workshops are suited to beginners right through to keen junior anglers aged between 8 and 14 years old. In the morning, kids learn skills in casting, knot tying, rigging, bait preparation and identifying and measuring fish, under the supervision of experienced staff and Fishcare Volunteers.
After lunch everyone then puts their new skills into practice going fishing with their own fishing rod which they get to take home. The kids also receive a goodie bag, tackle, shirt and a hat, everything they need to keep on fishing. The four hour workshops cost $40 per child. Funds from the Recreational Fishing Trust help with running the workshops.
More new recreational fishing facilities
The state’s newest fishing platform, located at Dunbogan on the NSW mid north coast was opened in time for the summer holidays. The new fishing platform was built by Port Macquarie Hastings Council using funds from the Recreational Fishing Trust. The platform was designed in close consultation with Council’s Access Committee and the Laurieton United Services Fishing Club, so it is not only in an excellent fishing location, but can be used confidently by people with a disability.
More new fishing infrastructure projects are underway this year including the construction of three shelters over fish cleaning tables located at the Soldiers Point, Lemon Tree Passage and Karuah boat ramps. In addition a new fish cleaning table and shelter is being installed at the recently upgraded Shoal Bay boat ramp.
Keep an eye out this year too for a new fish cleaning table at Horseshoe Beach, Newcastle and an upgrade to the fish cleaning table at Stockton. New fishing platforms are also being built this year in Moruya and South Durras on the NSW south coast.
Anyone can apply for funding from the Recreational Fishing Trusts, including fishing clubs and organisations, universities, councils, community groups, individuals and so on.
Get Hooked ... Register now
Registrations for the popular DPI schools program "Get Hooked...it's fun to fish" are now open and will close on 30 April 2015. Get Hooked is a free primary school program that teaches students the basic skills necessary for recreational fishing. This program extends from the classroom into the outdoors where students have the opportunity to attend a free fishing workshop in Term 4.
If you are a teacher or parent keen to get their kids involved go to Get Hooked…it’s Fun to Fish to find out more about this fun and interactive program and to register for 2015.
Fish to flourish with new habitat funding
Recreational fishers from across NSW have tapped into the Recreational Fishing Trust - Habitat Action Grants Program to make more fish naturally through habitat rehabilitation. Competition for funds was tight with 31 projects funded worth $575,000 from the Trusts and nearly $1.9 million committed as in-kind support. An example of a project where local fishers and clubs are working with councils and other stakeholders to improve habitat for fish is the remediation of Kyogle Weir, in the state’s far north. Kyogle weir impacts recreational fishing by interrupting migrations of Australian Bass in the Richmond River. This project will see the weir lowered by 1.2m and a rock ramp fishway installed - adding 353km upstream and 52km downstream to the available fish habitat. For more information about the projects funded in the latest Habitat Action Grants visit the website. To keep up with the progress of this and other Habitat Action Grant projects, subscribe to the Newstreams newsletter.
Summer stocking success
DPI Narrandera Fisheries Centre hatchery staff have been busy stocking native fish into freshwater dams and lakes throughout summer. Almost 250,000 Murray cod were stocked during early summer into dams including Copeton Dam near Inverell (20,000), Burrendong Dam near Wellington (63,000), Wyangala Dam near Cowra (25,000), Burrinjuck Dam near Yass (30,000) and Blowering Dam near Tumut (40,000).
To date, 200,000 golden perch have been stocked into dams including Ben Chifley Dam near Bathurst (10,000), Blowering Dam near Tumut (76,000), Googong Dam near Queanbeyan (15,000), Glenbawn Dam near Scone (60,000) and Glennies Creek Dam near Singleton (25,000).
Additional golden perch and silver perch are currently being grown at the hatchery and will be stocked throughout the State in the coming months. Several dams in northern NSW including Pindari Dam, Split Rock Dam, Keepit Dam and Chaffey Dam have not been stocked due to low water levels. However, many other dams and lakes are currently experiencing ideal conditions for the survival and growth of native fish fry and fingerlings and recent stockings will provide enjoyment for recreational fishers in the coming years. More information on freshwater fish stocking.
Going fishing on a Sydney Harbour Ferry Commuter Wharf?
These wharves provide good fishing locations but please don’t forget to collect and dispose of your litter, bait, fish waste and tackle. Complaints about fishing mess on some wharves have recently been received by Roads and Maritime Services.
DPI is reminding fishers again to do the right thing and respect our fishing access to these wharves. Thanks to all fishers who respect and look after our access to these great fishing locations.
Lake Macquarie users urged to be on the lookout
Waterway users of Lake Macquarie are being encouraged to keep a look out for the marine pest Caulerpa taxifolia, following a confirmed detection of the noxious marine vegetation at Green Point near the town of Belmont. DPI is now investigating the extent of the detection, which was reported by a concerned member of the public.
Initial investigations have revealed approximately 100 metres of shoreline at Green Point is affected by the marine alga Caulerpa which can be identified by the light to bright green feather-like fronds that are attached to a main stem that runs along the ground. More information. Lake users who suspect Caulerpa should report it by calling the 24 hour hotline 02 4916 3877 or email email@example.com
Have you changed address?
If you have changed address since you last purchased your fishing licence, you can update your contact details by phoning 02 4424 7499 or email firstname.lastname@example.org You need to provide your licence number, name plus your new contact details. You can also update your contact details when you renew your licence online.